Installing ActivePython for Windows

You can install ActivePython by downloading and running the Setup Wizard (.exe). For more complex installations you can run the Setup Wizard on the command line.


ActivePython requires Windows XP, or later.

Before you begin

  • Other Python 2.7 Installations: ActivePython 2.7 cannot coexist with other Python 2.7 installations on Windows. You must uninstall any other Python 2.7 installations, such as a Python 2.7 build from, before installing ActivePython 2.7.
  • Directory name: You should install ActivePython in a directory that does not contain spaces in the name. Spaces can causes problems on some versions of Windows with certain service pack levels. By default the Setup Wizard installs ActivePython in a directory without spaces.
  • Directory contents: If you are installing ActivePython to an existing directory, the ActivePython setup wizard may overwrite files in that directory. We recommend that you install ActivePython in a new or empty directory.

If you have problems importing certain modules after installation, please verify that your system meets the criteria listed above before submitting a bug report.

Using the ActivePython Setup Wizard

There are two ways to install ActivePython with the setup wizard:

  1. You can run the setup wizard and enter the required information to install the software.
  2. If you want to automate the installation, you can run the setup wizard from the command line.

Running the ActivePython Setup Wizard

When you install ActivePython, you should run the setup wizard as an Administrator.

Note: If you do not have Administrator rights on the computer, you can use the generic ActiveState Package Installer to complete the installation.

  1. Download and save the .exe installation package.
  2. Right-click the .exe file and select Run As Administrator.
  3. Follow the prompts on screen to complete the installation.

Running the installation as an Administrator allows other users on the computer to use ActivePython, and ensures that all of ActivePython’s features function correctly. Installing ActivePython without administrative privileges has the following limitations:

  • The Python ActiveX scripting engine feature will be unavailable.
  • Windows NT/2000 users will not be able to write Services.
  • Environment variables cannot be set (e.g. PATH, PATHEXT).
  • File associations for Python files cannot be set.
  • Any registry entries created are under HKEY_CURRENT_USER and not under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

See the Getting started with ActivePython on Windows for a general introduction to ActivePython on your platform, and pointers to documentation that will be most useful to you.

Running the ActivePython Setup Wizard on the command line

You can install ActivePython from the command line. You should start the command prompt as an Administrator to ensure the the installation can complete successfully. ActivePython’s installer uses Windows Installer technology, which allows you to partially control the install from the command line.

Starting the Setup Wizard

You can start the Setup Wizard from the command line, and walk through the installation steps in the user interface.

c:\> ActivePython-<version>.exe

Logging the Setup Wizard output

If you want to enable logging you can add the appropriate command line switches to specify the level of logging and the log file location. The following command will generate a log of the install in “install.log” in the current directory.

c:\> ActivePython-<version>.exe /L*v ./install.log

Specifying a custom installation directory

You can also specify a custom installation directory instead of using the default.

c:\> ActivePython-<version>.exe APPDIR=C:\apps\Python

Specifying the features to install

ActivePython is divided into features. In the “Customize Setup” dialog you can select which features to install. You can also do this on the command line with the ADDLOCAL property. For example, the following command will install just the core ActivePython functionality (i.e. not the PyWin32 extensions or the documentation.

c:\> ActivePython-<version>.exe ADDLOCAL=core

The current set of ActivePython setup wizard features are:

    core            ActivePython core (must be installed)
        doc         Documentation

Where the hierarchy denotes dependencies you must install them. For example, to install doc you must install the ActivePython core (core).

Complete installation example

You can combine command line options to complete your custom installation from the command line. For example, the following command will install just the ActivePython core and documentation to C:\apps\Python.

c:\> ActivePython-<version>.exe /qn+ APPDIR="C:\apps\Python" ^
     /L*v ./install.log ADDLOCAL=core

For more information about the command line installation options, contact

Uninstalling ActivePython

The ActivePython for Windows can be uninstalled using the Modify, Repair or Uninstall ActivePython shortcut in the ActiveState ActivePython 2.7 program group in the Windows Start menu, or you can use Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.

Alternatively, you use the setup wizard (.exe) file to uninstall ActivePython on the command line and write the progress to a log file:

c:\> ActivePython-<version>.exe /x // /L*v ./uninstall.log

ActiveState package installer

You can use the ActiveState package installer it to install ActivePython if you do not have Administrator rights on Windows.

  • Download the package to a temporary directory, extract the files, and run the install.bat script.

The AS package is delivered as a zip file, (.zip).

Interactive Install

To install interactively, simple run the install script without arguments. The install script will prompt your for an installation directory.

Unzip ActivePython-<version>.zip with WinZip or equivalent and:

C:\> cd .../ActivePython-<version>
C:\...\ActivePython-<version>> install.bat

You can add the bin directory to your PATH environment variable for quicker access.

Non-interactive install

By default the install script will prompt you for an install directory. You can avoid this interaction by specifying the install directory with the -I <installdir> option. Use the -h option for full usage information.

Uninstalling the “AS Package”

Uninstalling an “AS Package” installation is as simple as removing the directory to which you installed, because the ActivePython installation is fully contained in that install location.